the best therapy is

horseback riding helps so much
when you have weak muscles
and joints
mental challenges

nothing better
for confidence and
building strength
and learning to care
for an animal
is working with horses

this is "Sweetie" she will carry a new adult
rider tonite

volunteers are grooming and checking for ticks
leg problems, etc 

there are 5 horses
and 4 of them are well trained
one is an arabian and is going
to carry someone on her back one night this season
she is a new therapy horse and needs warming up
and saddling and lots of lunging!  She is pretty much ready to go this year.

 this is her "Lady"

Brian warms up "Fudge"

this arena has been used for the owners own
western/equestrian competitions
but she also shares this arena for the PTRA (Parkland Therapeutic Riding Association)
and it has been 23 years! 
Her name is Karen and she trains the horses and the volunteers
for the therapeutic riding coach who comes in every week
to give riding instruction to all the clients

the horses are brought up to the edge of this ramp
and trained to stand still while the rider is placed in the
all clients/riders are placed on the horse
with a certified coach of therapeutic riding
she is the final boss that the saddle, stirrups, reins, safety belts
and sometimes buddy stirrups are used correctly and
cinched tightly before the rider walks on.

there are 10 mentally challenged or handicapped
clients that ride, ranging from about 10 years to 50 years old

I side-walk beside the rider and sometimes I help with holding props up
for the relay games and groom the horses and ensure that
the heavy doors at either end are closed once all riders are saddled. 
lots of rules and insurance restrictions with a Therapeutic Riding Centre
they are governed by National standards and visits are made yearly
to the arena and owners to ensure no liabilities occur.

It is a very good thing!

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